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Discussion #23 - Corruption

One big question on people's minds these days is; who is really controlling governments (in the developed world), the 1% or the 99%? In any democratic country, the answer SHOULD be the 99%, but sadly this is just not the case. We obviously have more power at the polls, but it's immediately after the elections that our influence drops off (like a rock). Money really does make the world go 'round, & politics is no exception. Why would it be, when people are involved? Where there are people, there are people wanting more money. A good example of this, is that the cost of ONE aircraft carrier, the 5000 personnel, aircraft, etc. (approx. $120 billion), would pay for a house, car, & everything else necessary for a good life, for everyone who needs this in the U.S. War is big business, & many overlook this important fact. Most wars/conflicts are the result of economic inequality or Nationalism. The money spent on war/military (globally), if spent on the poor, would virtually eraticate the need for it altogether.

In third world countries, & with dictatorships, the corruption is much worse. Extreme poverty for the masses, & extreme wealth for the few in charge, is usually the end result. We all felt the frustration & anger when we learned that virtually NONE of the $15 BILLION in donations sent to Haiti from around the globe, were given to the poor after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Citizens in these countries routinely have their mail opened & robbed at the post office, if there is anything of value suspected inside. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the general idea.

In a dictatorship, control must be maintained at all costs. If anyone dares try to jeopardize this control, very bad things tend to happen (in the short term). In the long term, however, life for the vast majority would get (dramatically) better. Not everyone is prepared to pay this price, but we are starting to see this attempted (successfully) more often in recent years. This is partly due to the internet, & heightened awareness of inequality & oppression.

A similar sort of thing (in a non-violent manner) would have to happen in the developed world, for the 99% to take back control of their governments. The Occupy Wall St. movement is the perfect example, except that it was poorly organized, & quickly squashed. The aftermath is a somewhat elevated level of awareness, but economically virtually nothing has changed (not even a dent).

When the majority feel like they have very little to lose, & much to gain, the will of the people rises to the point where action will occur. When most are content (& happy) with their lot in life, this is when that government (& the 1%), can truly relax (& enjoy theirs).

Capitalism works great when corruption is at a minimum (there will always be some). When the masses really begin to start to feeling "ripped off", & realize how badly they're being short-changed. This is when we'll start to see some REAL action. Right now, the middle class is living in a "boiling frog" scenerio. The temperature is being turned up slowly, & most are not really noticing. People are busy, noses to the grindstone. It will take many looking up (at the bigger picture in life), for any of this to change significantly.

Complacency is very dangerous, as the middle class is eroding more every day. Some are moving up, but most (by far) are moving down. The situation is greatly amplified by globalization. If we value (at all) our personal/family's future lifestyle/economic situation, we may want to take a small break from the grindstone, & take a good look at what's really going on in our very large world. Remember, 80% of all human beings are earning/living on less than $10 a day. The vast majority of extra revenue generated in developing countries from re-located jobs, is going into the pockets of the rich business owners, shareholders & governments of these countries. Very little ends up going to the workers.

It really is a shame that Capitalism is becoming this polarized greed-fest all over the world, as it really is by far the best economic system of the bunch. It's my personal opinion, that with a handful of major tweaks to this system, humankind can actually (easily) have the utopic economic paradise that we have all long fantasized about.
Discussion #23 - Corruption

One big question on people's minds these days is; who is really controlling governments (in the developed world), the 1% or the 99%? In any democratic country, the answer SHOULD be the 99%, but sadly this is just not the case. We obviously have more power at the polls, but it's immediately after the elections that our influence drops off (like a rock). Money really does make the world go 'round, & politics is no exception. Why would it be, when people are involved? Where there are people, there are people wanting more money. A good example of this, is that the cost of ONE aircraft carrier, the 5000 personnel, aircraft, etc. (approx. $120 billion), would pay for a house, car, & everything else necessary for a good life, for everyone who needs this in the U.S. War is big business, & many overlook this important fact. Most wars/conflicts are the result of economic inequality or Nationalism. The money spent on war/military (globally), if spent on the poor, would virtually eraticate the need for it altogether.

In third world countries, & with dictatorships, the corruption is much worse. Extreme poverty for the masses, & extreme wealth for the few in charge, is usually the end result. We all felt the frustration & anger when we learned that virtually NONE of the $15 BILLION in donations sent to Haiti from around the globe, were given to the poor after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Citizens in these countries routinely have their mail opened & robbed at the post office, if there is anything of value suspected inside. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the general idea.

In a dictatorship, control must be maintained at all costs. If anyone dares try to jeopardize this control, very bad things tend to happen (in the short term). In the long term, however, life for the vast majority would get (dramatically) better. Not everyone is prepared to pay this price, but we are starting to see this attempted (successfully) more often in recent years. This is partly due to the internet, & heightened awareness of inequality & oppression.

A similar sort of thing (in a non-violent manner) would have to happen in the developed world, for the 99% to take back control of their governments. The Occupy Wall St. movement is the perfect example, except that it was poorly organized, & quickly squashed. The aftermath is a somewhat elevated level of awareness, but economically virtually nothing has changed (not even a dent).

When the majority feel like they have very little to lose, & much to gain, the will of the people rises to the point where action will occur. When most are content (& happy) with their lot in life, this is when that government (& the 1%), can truly relax (& enjoy theirs).

Capitalism works great when corruption is at a minimum (there will always be some). When the masses really begin to start to feeling "ripped off", & realize how badly they're being short-changed. This is when we'll start to see some REAL action. Right now, the middle class is living in a "boiling frog" scenerio. The temperature is being turned up slowly, & most are not really noticing. People are busy, noses to the grindstone. It will take many looking up (at the bigger picture in life), for any of this to change significantly.

Complacency is very dangerous, as the middle class is eroding more every day. Some are moving up, but most (by far) are moving down. The situation is greatly amplified by globalization. If we value (at all) our personal/family's future lifestyle/economic situation, we may want to take a small break from the grindstone, & take a good look at what's really going on in our very large world. Remember, 80% of all human beings are earning/living on less than $10 a day. The vast majority of extra revenue generated in developing countries from re-located jobs, is going into the pockets of the rich business owners, shareholders & governments of these countries. Very little ends up going to the workers.

It really is a shame that Capitalism is becoming this polarized greed-fest all over the world, as it really is by far the best economic system of the bunch. It's my personal opinion, that with a handful of major tweaks to this system, humankind can actually (easily) have the utopic economic paradise that we have all long fantasized about.